Knaz of Slavinia
Doux of Terepesos
Doux of Terepesos
Reign: 910 – 925
Predecessor: Prvoslav
Knaz of Slavinia
Reign: 925–928
Coronation: c. 925
Predecessor: Himself
Sucessor: Miloslav II
House: House of Knezevic
Father: Prvoslav
Died: 928, Terepesos
Burial: Church of St. Theodoros, Cydonia
Religion: Orthodox Church

Tomislav (pronounced [tǒmislaʋ], Latin: Tamisclao) was a ruler of Slavinia and Doux of Terepesos. He reigned from around 910 until 928, first as a Doux of the Doukelias of Terepesos in c. 910–925, and then became the first Knaz (rex Sarbatorum) of the Slavinian Kingdom in 925–928. At the time of his rule Slavinia forged an alliance with the Kormenians during their struggle with Arcadia, with whom Slavinia eventually went to war, which culminated in the decisive Battle of the Arcadian Highlands in 926.

His ancestry is not known, but he probably hailed from the House of Knezevic. There is a time difference of almost twenty years between the first attestation of Tomislav's name and the last mention of Prvoslav, his predecessor as the Duke of Terepesos. The historical records of him are scarce, but it is assumed that he was the son of Prvoslav, whom he succeeded around 910.

Ruthene scholarship credits Tomislav with uniting the Sarbians of Sýnoria and the Slavs of Magareia into a single state, founding a principate lasting for several centuries. He is said to have ruled over the territory of today's Thema Sýnorion, rounding off his state from the Marmora Sea to the Drava river, and from the Rasea river in Istrias to the Drina river. There is no evidence, however, to suggest he exercised any authority over the Korimi cities of the Marmoran coast.


Doux of Terepesos

Tomislav succeeded Prvoslav, descendant of Miloslav I, on the throne of the Duchy of Terepesos, either directly in about 910, which is the most widely accepted view, or after the rule of different figures which ruled after Prvoslav's death. In any case, Tomislav gained the throne of Terepesos at some time between 910 and 914. In Historia Salonitana ("History of Salona"), a chronicle from the 13th century written by Thomas the Archdeacon from Tortossa, Tomislav was mentioned as the Duke of Terepesos in 914. According to the heavily debated Chronicle of the priest of Terepesos, Tomislav, whose rule was specified at 13 years, defeated the Korimi mounted invasions of the Kormenians in battle and forced them across the Drava River. Tomislav annexed a part of Sýnoria to his Duchy of Terepesos. This included the area between the rivers Drava, Sava and Kupea, so his Duchy bordered with Kormenia and Arcadia for a period of time.

The Duke had to face renewed threats from the Arcadians under Giuliano who had already conquered the Sarbs in the south of Arcadia. In 923, the Patriarch of Beretea and the Rothoi League offered to deal with Giuliano threat if the Slavinians who was already in a war with the Rothoi League. Tomislav made a pact with the Principality of Kormenia, for which he may have been rewarded by the Great Prince Xylon with some form of control over the coastal cities of the eastern coast and with a share of the tribute collected from its coastal cities

Coronation and Slavian Principate


Coronation of Knaz Tomislav

Tomislav was the first Sarbian ruler whom the Patriarchal chancellery honoured with the title "king". It is generally said that Tomislav was crowned in 924 or 925, however, this is not certain. It is not known when, where, or by whom he was crowned. The letters in which Tomislav was called a king were preserved in a version of Archdeacon Thomas of Spalato's History of Salona. In a note preceding the text of the Council conclusions in Terepesos in 925 it is written that Tomislav is the king "in the province of the Slavians and in the Sýnoria regions". In the 12th canon of the Council conclusions in 925 the ruler of the Sarbians is called "knaz", while in a letter sent by the Metropolitan Pavlos Tomislav is named "King of the Sarbians" (Tamisclao, regi Sarbanorum). Although there are no inscriptions of Tomislav to confirm the title, later inscriptions and charters confirm that his 10th century successors called themselves "Knaz".

By the claiming of the coastal cities of Magarea, Tomislav raised the question of sovereignty of the Sarbian Diocese of Nin. In 925 the Patriarch summoned a synod in Terepesos to resolve the situation, and in a letter sent to Tomislav, recognised him as king (rex) of Sarbians. According to the latter medieval sources, Tomislav was crowned at the field of Duvno (named Tomislav's City in his honour), although there are no contemporary records of this event.

In 925, Tomislav attended the Synod in Terepesos, in which the Selloi Bishops and Abbeys of the Magarian coastal towns outvoted Grigorias, bishop of Nin, and his supporters, so the supremacy of the Archbishopric of Terepesos was affirmed. Furthermore, the use of the Sarbian language in the ecclesiastical service was banned, allowing only the use of Latin. This, however, had very little effect in reality, as the number of clerics who knew Latin was sparse throughout the kingdom. However, to gain support of the Patriarch, Tomislav probably sided with the Latinist side and the metropolitan archdioceses of Terepesos. At the council, Terepesos was defined as the religious center of Sarbians confirming the archbishorip in 935.

During Tomislav's rule the Rothoi and the Korimis where in a war. In 924 the Arcadians under Giuliano destroyed the Sarbian cities, forcing Serbian Prince Zaharija and a part of the Serbian population to flee to Slavinia. also an ally of the Korimis, was now located between Arcadia and the weakly defended Korimi Komi of Sýnoria. Since Slavinia was harboring Bulgarian enemies and was allied to the Byzantine Empire, Simeon decided to attack Croatia and sent an army led by Duke Amoroso, but Tomislav cut his advance into Sarbian realm and entirely destroyed his army at the Slavian-Arcadian battle of 926 which probably took place in the north-eastern part of Arcadia. The Slavians under Tomislav won a great victory, decimating the entire Arcadian force. After the death of Giuliano in 927, the peace was restored between Slavinia and Arcadia with the mediation of the legates of Metropolitan Patroklos of Arsinia, thus restoring peace.

It is unknown how Tomislav's life ended, but he disappeared from the political scene after 928. At the time of his death there was discord in the country over whether the liturgical language of the Principate in Slavinia would be Latin or Sarbian. Decades of famine and pestilence raged through most of the Southern Eridana. He was succeeded by Miloslav II, who was either his son or his younger brother.



Tomislav monument in Cydonia

Tomislav is celebrated as the first Sarbian King and the founder of the first united Slavian state. In Cydonia, there is a square dedicated to Tomislav. A monument in Cydonia by sculptor Branislav Gnjatović was raised in his honor. there numerous squares and statues in diversal towns of the empire in his honor.

See Also

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